UK-based pub firm and brewer Marston’s has sold 137 pubs to rival firm Admiral Taverns for a total of £44.9m (€52m).
Marston’s described the pubs as “non-core” assets and said the deal would enable it to pay down more of its debt.
The pubs are all smaller, wet-led, leased, tenanted and franchised pubs and the deal is expected to complete before the end of November.
They have a book value of £62.6m (€72.5m) and contributed £3.7m (€4.3m) of operating profit to the company for the year to 28th September 2019.
Admiral Taverns, backed by private equity firms Proprium Capital Partners and C&C Group, is growing rapidly, having acquired 150 pubs from Star Pubs & Bars in October.
The company’s chief executive Chris Jowsey said: “This is another exciting acquisition for our business, building on strong momentum established over the course of the year and on behalf of the entire team I would like to take this opportunity to welcome our new licensees and colleagues to Admiral.
“We remain fully committed to the leased and tenanted model and through this acquisition have been able to acquire an excellent portfolio of pubs which we look forward to developing through our award-winning and highly supportive approach.”
Marston’s chief executive Ralph Findlay said: “We are making good progress with our plans to reduce our net debt by £200m (€231.5m) by 2023 in part through the disposal of non-core assets. We are encouraged by the level of market interest that this portfolio of pubs has attracted. This further underpins our confidence in achieving the accelerated £70m disposal proceeds target that we have set ourselves for the current year.”
Ahead of the completion of the deal, Marston’s owns a total of around 1,545 managed, leased and tenanted pubs, including the Pitcher & Piano and Revere brands. Admiral Taverns currently has around 800 wet-led pubs.